Aluminium contents in baked meats wrapped in aluminium foil.
ABSTRACT In this investigation, the effect of cooking treatments (60min at 150°C, 40min at 200°C, and 20min at 250°C) on aluminium contents of meats (beef, water buffalo, mutton, chicken and turkey) baked in aluminium foil were evaluated. Cooking increased the aluminium concentration of both the white and red meats. The increase was 89-378% in red meats and 76-215% in poultry. The least increase (76-115%) was observed in the samples baked for 60min at 150°C, while the highest increase (153-378%) was in samples baked for 20min at 250°C. It was determined that the fat content of meat in addition to the cooking process affected the migration of aluminium (r(2)=0.83; P<0.01). It was also found that raw chicken and turkey breast meat contained higher amounts of aluminium than the raw chicken and turkey leg meat, respectively. Regarding the suggested provisional tolerable daily intake of 1mg Al/kg body weight per day of the FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, there are no evident risks to the health of the consumer from using aluminium foil to cook meats. However, eating meals prepared in aluminium foil may carry a risk to the health by adding to other aluminium sources.
- SourceAvailable from: Thorsten Stahl[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: For many years aluminium was not considered harmful to human health because of its relatively low bioavailability. In 1965, however, animal experiments suggested a possible connection between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease. Oral intake of foodstuffs would appear to be the most important source of aluminium. Consequently, the joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives reduced the provisional tolerable weekly intake value for aluminium from 7 mg kg-1 body weight/week to 1 mg kg-1 body weight/week. Analysis of aluminium content of a number of foods and food products was therefore undertaken in order to evaluate the nutritional intake of aluminium. A total of 1,431 samples were analysed within the scope of this study. The data obtained allow a preliminary but current depiction of the aluminium content of selected non-animal foods, food products and beverages.Environmental Sciences Europe. 23(1).
Aluminium contents in baked meats wrapped in aluminium foil
Department of Food Engineering, Ondokuz Mayis University, 55139 Kurupelit, Samsun, Turkey
Received 19 October 2005; received in revised form 10 March 2006; accepted 12 March 2006
In this investigation, the effect of cooking treatments (60 min at 150 ?C, 40 min at 200 ?C, and 20 min at 250 ?C) on aluminium con-
tents of meats (beef, water buffalo, mutton, chicken and turkey) baked in aluminium foil were evaluated. Cooking increased the alumin-
ium concentration of both the white and red meats. The increase was 89–378% in red meats and 76–215% in poultry. The least increase
(76–115%) was observed in the samples baked for 60 min at 150 ?C, while the highest increase (153–378%) was in samples baked for
20 min at 250 ?C. It was determined that the fat content of meat in addition to the cooking process affected the migration of aluminium
(r2= 0.83; P < 0.01). It was also found that raw chicken and turkey breast meat contained higher amounts of aluminium than the raw
chicken and turkey leg meat, respectively. Regarding the suggested provisional tolerable daily intake of 1 mg Al/kg body weight per day
of the FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, there are no evident risks to the health of the consumer from using aluminium
foil to cook meats. However, eating meals prepared in aluminium foil may carry a risk to the health by adding to other aluminium
? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Aluminium; Cooking; Meat; Aluminium foil
Aluminium has a variety of industrial applications
because of its attractive properties such as low specific grav-
ity, high thermal and electric conductivity and attractive
appearance. Aluminium is also preferred due to its corro-
sion resistance and easy processing properties (Joshi, Toma,
Medora, & O’Connor, 2003; Rajwanshi, Singh, Gupta, &
Dass, 1997; Ranau, Oehlenschlager, & Steinhart, 2001).
Aluminium is widely used for manufacturing household
utensils and packaging materials. Aluminium foil is widely
used for packaging, storing, and cooking of various foods.
Especially, it is common practice to wrap meat and fish and
grill or cook them in the oven in order to prevent water
uptake (McWilliams, 1989) and avoid direct heat (Ranau
et al., 2001). The widespread use of aluminium foils makes
them a significant potential source of dietary aluminium.
Aluminium toxicity is well known in patients with long-
standing chronic renal failure (Meiri, Banin, Roll, & Rous-
seau, 1993). In recent years, aluminium has also been
associated with various bone (osteomalacia) and neurolog-
ical failures (Alzhemier’s disease) (Gauthier et al., 2000;
Grant, Campbell, Itzhaki, & Savory, 2002; Gupta et al.,
2005; Miu, Olteanu, & Miclea, 2004; Polizzi et al., 2002;
Rondeau, Commenges, Jacqmin-Gadda, & Dartigues,
2000). Although a direct relationship between aluminium
in food and these diseases has not been established, public
interest in effects of aluminium on human health has
increased in recent years and several studies have been con-
ducted on aluminium leaching into foods cooked in alu-
minium utensils or wrapped with aluminium. In these
studies, the extent of aluminium leaching was strongly
related to several factors such as the type of aluminium
utensils, pH of the food and/or cooking medium, form
and composition of food, duration of contact/cooking
and presence of fluoride, etc. Scancar, Stibilj, and Milacic
(2004) found that cooking sauerkraut and sour turnip in
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Meat Science 74 (2006) 644–647
aluminium cookware appreciably increased the concentra-
tion of aluminium (313 and 260 mg/kg DM, respectively).
The concentration of aluminium in unheated sauerkraut
and sour turnip was 2.2 and 1.5 mg/kg DM, respectively.
Yaman, Gunes, and Bakirdere (2003) determined the alu-
minium concentrations of cooked Turkish meals in new
and old aluminium and the various other cooking utensils
(clay, foil, steel, teflon, boron glass and tinned Cu) and
found that the aluminium concentrations of Turkish meals
cooked in old aluminium utensil were higher than these
cooked in other utensils. Ranau et al. (2001) determined
the aluminium contents of grilled and baked fish (cod, sai-
the, ocean perch and mackerel) fillets with and without
ingredients wrapped in aluminium foil and found that the
aluminium concentrations of both baked and grilled fillets
wrapped in aluminium foil clearly increased during heating
for all fish types. They observed that, generally, the alumin-
ium contents of grilled fillets were higher than those of
baked fillets. Rajwanshi et al. (1999) determined the effect
of pH and fluoride concentration on the leaching of alu-
minium from aluminium food containers and found that
the extent of metal leaching increased with lower pH and
rose with fluoride. Leaching of aluminium was found to
be maximal in case of all the acids (acetic, citric, oxalic
and tartaric acid), containing 10 ppm fluoride (pH 2), while
it was found to be minimal in all the acid solutions at pH 4
in the absence of fluoride. Fimreite, Hansen, and Pettersen
(1997) reported that the aluminium concentrations in black
currant juice and stewed rhubarb prepared in aluminium
cookware increased with the cooking time.
In recent years, it is a common practise to wrap the meat
and fish prior to oven cooking. Due to the possible relation
between aluminium uptake and the specific diseases men-
tioned above, it is important to determine the aluminium
concentration of foods wrapped with aluminium. This
study was conducted to detect the levels of aluminium con-
tent in different meats (beef, water buffalo, mutton, chicken
and turkey) packed with aluminium foil and cooked in an
oven at three different temperature/time periods (150 ?C
for 60 min, 200 ?C for 40 min, and 250 ?C for 20 min).
2. Materials and methods
Fresh red meat (beef: round; water buffalo: round; mut-
ton: legs) and poultry (chicken: breast, legs; turkey: breast,
legs) were all purchased from a local market. Muscle from
each species was trimmed to remove bones, skin and most
of the surface fat, cut into small pieces of ?3 cm3and was
divided into four portions. Each portion consisted of
approximately 200 g. One portion was analysed as a fresh
sample [beef: round (75.39% moisture, 20.21% protein,
2.28% fat and 1.05% ash); water buffalo: round (74.35%
moisture, 19.23% protein, 4.33% fat and 1.02% ash); mut-
ton: legs (69.74% moisture, 16.79% protein, 11.38% fat and
0.97% ash); chicken: breast (74.43% moisture, 20.72% pro-
tein, 2.82% fat and 1.00% ash), legs (76.30% moisture,
18.43% protein, 3.49% fat and 1.00% ash); turkey: breast
(72.69% moisture, 23.22% protein, 2.23% fat and 1.13%
ash), legs (75.78% moisture, 20.18% protein, 2.54% fat
and 0.94% ash)], the second portion was wrapped in alu-
minium foil (30 · 30 cm, thickness 12 lm, density 2.71 g/
cm3) and baked in an electrical oven at 150 ?C (Arcelik
Midi Firin MF 6, 1200 W, 220 V, 50 Hz) for 60 min, the
third portion was wrapped in aluminium foil and baked
at 200 ?C for 40 min and the fourth portion was wrapped
in aluminium foil and baked at 250 ?C for 20 min. The
raw and cooked samples were ground in a glass mortar
to ensure homogeneity and representative samples taken
for analysis. Samples were packed in glass jars and ana-
lysed for aluminium and moisture content. In addition
raw samples were analysed also for protein, fat and ash
contents. The homogenized samples of each species were
individually analysed in triplicate and the result of each
replication was given as the mean value. All reagents were
of analytical grade, and deionized water was used through-
out. Glassware was washed in concentrated HCl and rinsed
with deionized water.
Moisture, protein (N · 6.25), fat and ash contents were
determined according to AOAC (1990).
Aluminium levels of all samples were determined,
using an ATI UNICAM 929 Model atomic absorption
spectrophotometer (AAS) according to Yaman et al.
(2003) with a slight modification. An accurately weighed
3 g wet sample was dried for 4 h at 125 ?C and then
heated at 500 ?C for 6–8 h. This process was repeated,
if necessary, until a white ash was obtained. The ash
was digested in 5 ml of 2 M HNO3by boiling for about
2 min and then cooling to room temperature. The cooled
solution was filtered through Whatman filter paper (No.
41) and made up to 25 ml with 2 M HNO3. The clear
solutions were then analysed for aluminium by AAS at
a wavelength of 309.3 nm.
The data obtained from three replications were analysed
by one-way ANOVA using the SPSS statistical package
program, and differences among the individual means were
compared using the Duncan’s Multiple Range test (SPSS,
1998). A significance level of 0.05 was chosen. Further-
more, a stepwise linear regression analysis was performed
to evaluate any relationship between the fat contents and
increases of aluminium.
3. Results and discussion
Aluminium and moisture contents for raw and baked
red meats wrapped in aluminium foil are given in Table
1. Aluminium values are given in mg/kg dry weight. Addi-
tionally, the proportional increases of aluminium are given
in Table 1. The effects of cooking treatment on aluminium
contents of red meats were significant (P < 0.05) but water
content did not change significantly (P > 0.05). The alu-
minium content in raw beef increased from 16.39 to
30.99 mg/kg at 150 ?C for 60 min, 38.27 mg/kg at 200 ?C
for 40 min, and 48.85 mg/kg at 250 ?C for 20 min. There-
fore, the least increase of 89% was in the samples cooked
S. Turhan / Meat Science 74 (2006) 644–647
at low temperature for a long time (150 ?C for 60 min) and
the highest increase of 198% was in the samples cooked at a
high temperature for a short time (250 ?C for 20 min). Sim-
ilar results were obtained in water buffalo meat and mut-
ton. These results suggest that cooking temperature is
more important in aluminium leaching than cooking time.
This may be explained that the higher cooking temperature
stimulated the leaching of aluminium from foil to meats,
because at elevated temperatures, the oxide layer becomes
thicker and changes from an amorphous to a crystalline
structure (Rajwanshi et al., 1997). Similar to our results,
Ranau et al. (2001) found that the aluminium concentra-
tion of wrapped and grilled fillets was higher than samples
cooked in an oven at 200 ?C. Other researchers stated that
cooking in aluminium utensils increased the aluminium
concentration of foods (Fimreite et al., 1997; Gramiccioni,
Ingrao, Milana, Santaroni, & Tomassi, 1996; Greger,
Goetz, & Sullivan, 1985; Scancar et al., 2004; Watanabe
& Dawes, 1988; Yaman et al., 2003). While Gramiccioni
et al. (1996) determined that aluminium concentration of
increased by 25%, Scancar et al. (2004) found an even
greater increase in sauerkraut and sour turnip and stated
that aluminium utensils are not suitable for acidic foods.
The increase in aluminium concentrations of water buffalo
meats (4.33% fat) (101% at 150 ?C for 60 min, 147% at
200 ?C for 40 min, and 226% at 250 ?C for 20 min) after
cooking gave similar results to beef (2.28% fat). In contrast,
the increase in aluminium content of mutton (11.38% fat)
(115% at 150 ?C for 60 min, 204% at 200 ?C for 40 min,
and 378% at 250 ?C for 20 min) was significantly higher
than both beef and water buffalo meat. Parallel to our
results, Ranau et al. (2001) found that the aluminium con-
tents of the baked fillets of lean fish (cod and saithe) were
lower than those of fatty fish (ocean perch and mackerel).
In the present study, it was found that the positive correla-
tion between fat content and increase of aluminium was
significant (r2= 0.83; P < 0.01). This result suggests that
not only is aluminium leaching a function of cooking pro-
cess, but also fat content of product.
Cooking treatments significantly affected the aluminium
contents of poultry meats (P < 0.05) but had no significant
effect on water content (P > 0.05) (Table 2). As in the case
of red meats, the lowest aluminium content was observed
in the raw meats and the highest in those cooked at
250 ?C for 20 min. The percentage increases in the alumin-
ium content of chicken breast, chicken leg, turkey breast
and turkey leg, cooked for 60 min at 150 ?C and 40 min
at 200 ?C, were not significant (P > 0.05). For baked
chicken breast, chicken leg, turkey breast and turkey leg
cooked in aluminium foil increases were 76%, 76%, 84%,
and 89% at 150 ?C for 60 min; 83%, 96%, 115%, and
109% at 200 ?C for 40 min, and 153%, 192%, 215%, and
196% at 250 ?C for 20 min, respectively. This variation
may be due to the chemical composition of meats. It was
reported that various foods cooked in aluminium utensils
resulted in different aluminium migration (Fimreite et al.,
1997; Gramiccioni et al., 1996; Greger et al., 1985; Scancar
et al., 2004; Watanabe & Dawes, 1988; Yaman et al., 2003).
In addition, raw chicken and turkey breast meats had
higher aluminium contents than the raw chicken and tur-
key leg meat, respectively. This finding shows that poultry
breast meats store more aluminium than leg meats.
Aluminium and moisture contents in raw and baked red meats wrapped in
Moisture, % Increase of
16.39 ± 1.35a
30.99 ± 2.66b
38.27 ± 2.73b
48.85 ± 2.56c
75.39 ± 0.60
75.15 ± 0.68
74.11 ± 1.06
74.78 ± 1.14
14.50 ± 0.95a
29.10 ± 3.51b
35.88 ± 2.70b
47.25 ± 4.03c
74.35 ± 0.62
74.27 ± 0.93
73.45 ± 1.12
72.74 ± 1.24
11.19 ± 0.86a
24.03 ± 0.71b
33.99 ± 1.32c
53.48 ± 1.97d
69.74 ± 0.81
67.92 ± 1.20
68.94 ± 0.81
67.90 ± 0.90
AMeans for a species in a column with different letters are significantly
different (P < 0.05). Values are means ± SE of three replicates.
B(1) Raw, (2) baked 60 min at 150 ?C, (3) baked 40 min at 200 ?C, and
(4) baked 20 min at 250 ?C.
Aluminium and moisture contents in raw and baked poultry meats
wrapped in aluminium foilA
Moisture, %Increase of
23.58 ± 1.33a
41.39 ± 2.40b
43.19 ± 1.28b
59.76 ± 2.54c
74.45 ± 0.58
73.17 ± 1.03
72.52 ± 1.29
73.14 ± 1.23
16.45 ± 0.52a
28.91 ± 0.50b
32.17 ± 1.18b
48.11 ± 3.13c
76.30 ± 0.53
75.73 ± 1.37
75.56 ± 0.60
75.14 ± 0.98
19.12 ± 0.70a
35.12 ± 2.48b
41.09 ± 1.98b
60.21 ± 3.68c
72.69 ± 0.86
71.75 ± 1.21
71.00 ± 1.13
70.70 ± 1.18
18.29 ± 1.02a
34.56 ± 0.64b
38.20 ± 2.07b
54.11 ± 3.19c
75.78 ± 0.62
75.74 ± 0.83
75.63 ± 0.58
75.47 ± 1.04
AMeans for a species within the group in a column with different letters
are significantly different (P < 0.05). Values are means ± SE of three
B(1) Raw, (2) baked 60 min at 150 ?C, (3) baked 40 min at 200 ?C, and
(4) baked 20 min at 250 ?C.
S. Turhan / Meat Science 74 (2006) 644–647
Our research findings showed that cooking in alumin-
ium foil increased the aluminium content of red or white
16.39 mg/kg in raw red meats, 24.03 to 53.48 mg/kg in
cooked red meats, 16.45 to 23.58 mg/kg in raw poultry
meats, and 28.91 to 60.21 mg/kg in cooked poultry meats.
In all samples, the lowest increase (76–115%) was observed
in the samples cooked at 150 ?C for 60 min, the highest
(153–378%) in the samples cooked at 250 ?C for 20 min.
It should be noted that not only aluminium leaching is a
function of cooking process, but also fat content of the
product (r2= 0.83; P < 0.01). Also, raw chicken and turkey
breast meats had higher aluminium contents than the raw
chicken and turkey leg meat, respectively. Regarding the
suggested provisional tolerable daily intake of 1 mg Al/kg
body weight per day of the FAO/WHO Expert Committee
on Food Additives (FAO/WHO, 1994), it can be stated
that there is no evident risk to the health of consumer.
However, it is possible that excessive consumption of foods
packed with aluminium foil may carry a health risk.
This work was financially supported by Ondokuz Mayis
University Research Foundation (MF.071).
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